Saturday, February 21, 2004


Urban Warrior is an excellent documentary film by my friend Matt Ehling, whom I've known since grade school. I'd encourage anyone concerned about the current state of civil liberties in a post-9/11 world to contact Matt for a screening:

Within recent years, the formerly bright line separating U.S. military operations from domestic police work has become increasingly blurred. From Waco, to the WTO protests, tactics once reserved for wartime combat are being used in domestic law enforcement operations with increasing frequency.

The United States has traditionally recognized a separation of the roles and jurisdictions of its police and military forces. However, during the 1980s and 90s, the Pentagon began supplying both military training and surplus military hardware to domestic law enforcement agencies. Paramilitary SWAT teams, utilizing urban combat tactics, sub-machine guns, and armored personnel carriers, now exist in 90% of American cities with a population of 50,000 or more. Since the terror attacks of 9-11, new calls have been made to involve the military in domestic affairs, and to further eliminate the traditional fire walls that have long separated these two entites.

"Urban Warrior" casts a critical eye on this trend, investigating the impact of military-style police work on civil liberties, and examining case studies ranging from the WTO protests, to the Elian Gonzales raid.

From ETS Pictures.